Monday, May 31, 2010

Race Day!

To me, it's better than Christmas! For those who call Indianapolis home, the ritual and tradition can even supersede the race itself. Or maybe that's just me. But no one can deny the excitement of the fly-over!

I was raised by a race car driver, spending my childhood in the paddock and later (when I got older) in the pits. I used to enjoy hot summer nights in the garage with my Dad. He worked on the race car of the moment. I sat on the tire watching him, learning and handing him tools or holding down something while he tweaked and revved the engine. It was very exciting! The roar would vibrate through my chest. It was a wonderful time with my dad, whom I still consider one of my very best friends.

So I learned about Formula-Vs, Midgets and Sprints from my dad. But Indy Cars fascinated me too. The hallowed names like: Rick Mears, Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt, Al Unser, Johnny Rutherford and Tom Sneva seemed like friends to me, as if we knew each other and were part of some club together. And so I would study; study the driver/owner/engine/chassis/tire combinations. Eventually I got quite good at predicting the winner--had a little reputation for it--betters would call me! Very funny for a kid.

As an adult I moved around, lived in several different places. I would try desperately to find it on the radio, often with no luck. When the internet came along, I would try to find a station to listen to--also a bust in the early days of the web. With time, I was disconnected from my Indy Car feed of information and lost my mojo.

But I have NEVER lost the fever I get when the pre-race festivities start! There is nothing better than singing "Back Home Again in Indiana" with Jim Neighbors!! I cry EVERY SINGLE TIME! No joke. Did it yesterday.

Going to the Indianapolis 500 Race, the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, is an experience. One I don't wish to repeat, unless I have really good seats. It is much more enjoyable to listen on the radio! So each year, we get a Sunday Star, pull out the Indy 500 section. Get ourselves ready and listen to the radio in the window sill as we garden and work in the yard. As do our neighbors, so we all cheer in our own yards at the same times! Still in the "club"!


P.S. Tony Kanaan, you are a true champion! In my mind, YOU WON!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Not scolded

Nope, Dr. Nelson only laughed when I said that I didn't lay down 3 times a day for an hour each. He even laughed when I told him about not minding his lifting restrictions. I don't know what it means when a brain surgeon laughs at you...but at least I'm still here.

So now my rather expensive (and stunningly gorgeous) glasses, aka "face jewelry" do not work any more. They actually make my eyesight worse. Not a fault of the glasses. I got them when my tumor was pretty bad. So I have abandoned them for regular-el cheapo-Target sunglasses and a little pair of readers! Not for 30 years have I walked around without my face jewelry--I feel a little strange :/ It's like going without earrings--and if you know me, you know I NEVER do that!

Dr. Nelson said that my eyesight could keep changing for several months. Evidently, the optic nerves are still in rebound mode. Whatever sight I have in a year will likely be what I'm stuck with for the long term. So I'll hold off of getting new glasses for a while.

In the mean time, it's proving a challenge to get used to just looking through the readers at close range and not looking through them to distance. Whacky blurrrr! Oh, and if you use readers, please tell me how you can wear them on your head and STILL use a little nice hair product without smudge-city? Do tell!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What I do

Picture framing is what I do. In fact, may I boast a bit and say Certified Picture Framing is what I do? It is a grand achievment and it took many years to accomplish. But it all boils down to's a fancy way of saying, I can frame anything. If it doesn't have to eat, I can frame it. Be it your grandfather's WWII medals to a Picasso, I'm your gal.

It's been over 8 L O N G weeks since I've done what I love to do! (not to mention that long since I've had accounts receivables--entrepreneur-speak for "money coming in!")

I am hoping to resume working next week!!!

You may feel free to read this as a shameless ploy to garner pity...and framing jobs. I have learned that one thing very well in the last 5 years. If you have been saving up framing for when I recovered, now's your chance!

I am so very anxious to get back to work, I could scream...but I won't. :) Don't want to wake the neighbors.

My "transition" to mobile picture framing simply means that I no longer have a physical store-front location. I will pick up your art; design with you in the space; take it back to a home-based shop to work and drop it back off. It's how I worked before; how I built the business, in fact.

Now that I can once again see 1/32", I'm delighted! Here I come! Weeeeee!!


Monday, May 24, 2010

I can't do it

Sitting around...I'm positively lousy at it! In fact a nap makes me quite insane.

So Dr.'s orders are not to lift over 5 lbs. That's virtually impossible to abide by. It's just a sack of flour, for crying out loud! *sigh* *breathe*

I'm just lousy at it. On Saturday, I moved a 1/2 ton of fill dirt. Today I spread 12 bags of mulch over beds and planted a few things. And tomorrow I meet with my neuro-surgeon. You'll likely hear his yelling at me from Ohio!

Oh well. Trouble is, I feel terrific! And the upshot is our yard has never looked better ;)
More tomorrow on my scolding. But until then, here's today's count:

* 12 bags of mulch spread
* 4 hanging planters planted
* all containers watered
* butter made
* milk separated
* chiropractor appt kept
* 2 showers as it was 88 degrees today

Take that, Dr. Nelson :)


Sunday, May 23, 2010

June 11 is the Day!

June 11, 2010-that's the day! Re-flocking!

I'm very excited to have girls again in the garden! On Friday, June 11 we will be in receipt of a friendly delivery of 6 pullets. Hubbard's Golden Comet to be exact. I think we have had one of them before, Silver Belle. She must have had some Golden Comet in her for she was the right coloring and friendly and an egg-laying machine.

That's what we want...6 little egg machines!
So ready yourselves to get on the "rotation".

However, we will be on egg watch for a while...these are just little 6 week-old pullets. They are not expected to lay until they are about 12 weeks. This will be fun! Last flock we had came to us as full-grown layers. Silver Belle was the only one who would regularly come up to us, usually following us around the garden. The other five were more nervous. And Silver Belle was at the bottom of the pecking order too.

So you may be wondering what happened to our last flock? Well, my friends and family know this story, but for anyone new reading this, I'll explain. But first SPOILER ALERT. The story can be icky for some, although I'll skip over the details.

We had our girls for 2 1/2 years and eventually they stopped laying. So they became eaters instead of productive participants in our little urban farm. So we sent Silver Belle back to the farm for breeding (NO boys allowed here), and ...
We butchered the other 5. Yes we did it ourselves with the help of a wonderful farm friend who showed us how.

Very humanely done, mind you! Our friend and Brian dispatched the birds. There was a big pot of hot water to dunk them in after to loosen the feathers. We tied them by the feet in the barn and hung them up to pluck. And then our friend taught me how to clean and eviscerate them. It was all rather fascinating actually. I thought I would cry since we were dumb enough to name them. But actually something rather primeval took over and it was a job to be completed.

I will tell you, they are the most delicious chickens we have ever eaten! We raised them completely organically. They had plenty of fresh organic feed and time in the garden or chicken run for bugs and greens. They drank freshly filtered water as well as fresh unpasteurized whey. Never any chemicals or drugs of any kind. Just like our grandparents or great grandparents would have done.

We are all only a couple generations from this practice being common knowledge for everyone! And being happily at the top of the food chain, I was eager to learn the skill.

Our new girls are all one breed and hopefully will be more difficult to tell apart...therefore making it more difficult to name them. And their ultimate fate will be a stew pot as well. But we will enjoy them and their eggies for a few years first!


Thursday, May 20, 2010


Got the DILL FIELD weeded...of DILL, before the rain today. Got 7 very large bundles of fresh dill. They are wound up with twine and drying in the cellar.
Dill, anyone? Come and get your dill!

This will be an ongoing battle all season as it is a very prolific weed in our garden. I recommend you not grow it, just take some of ours...please!

Did I mention we have free dill? I'm just sayin'...
Oh, and cilantro too! Um, and chives.
Maybe I should rent a stall at the farmers market and sell herbs?


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ah, our organic garden

Our very own tiny slice of the planet, sustainably managed and loved over like a child. This year, however, it got a case of 'dis. There was no time or energy for tilling, planning, planting and the like. So we decided to let it go fallow. It has been 7 years since so why not?

We've decided to "spot plant" certain things close to the house. While the remainder of the garden gets a good coating of clover. This is positive thinking in action, of course. There are several patches of clover, so we HOPE it will spread. Yet there is much weeding to keep up with, so the really rotten plants don't take over and re-seed for a true problem next year.

At the moment though, our beloved garden looks like a scraggly little urchin. It's essentially a field of DILL, CILANTRO and junk! But we've already started the planting. So far we have put in:
* sweet pepper
* jalepeno pepper
* cucumbers, Straight 8
* tomato, Ace
* rosemary, BBQ
* lavender, Munstead

There are also some volunteers so far:
* 6 sweet corn plants
* 1-2 cherry tomatoes
* some mystery squash, naturally
* onions (forgot to pull them last fall)
* the aforementioned dill and cilantro

And many things yet to go in:
* summer squashes, zucchini and yellow
* green beans, bush
* and my beloved zinneas

Strange year to start a blog about gardening, but hey! We are doing our best here. And you never know, we could have one heckuva harvest!


While I'm in confession mode...

My prognosis wasn't quite as positive as I had hoped prior to surgery. I believe the quote was, "you have a 2/3 chance of seeing 'some improvement' in your eyesight." Sheesh, that doesn't sound so promising, Doc. Will I be able to frame again? If not, what to do? Well one thing was certain.

It would make no fiscal sense whatsoever to keep the shop open while I wait to find out. I'm not fond of losing money with no assurances on the other end that it's a good gamble. I'm CHEAP!

So I closed the Fountain Square gallery and shop to "go mobile" and wait it out--thinking positively that I would in fact have good eyesight at the end of this dark road. And, indeed, it has happened!

Much of my eyesight has returned, more than enough to continue on in my chosen career! So I actually did a little WORK today. Just a quickie little mat-cutting. And I'm thrilled to report...

I STILL GOT IT! My framing mojo never left me.
And AV Framing Gallery IS Mobile!
weeeeee what a ride....


Saturday, May 15, 2010


As a beginning blogger, my aim is to share with any interested folks the ins and outs of our odd little household. Many have expressed interest in reading more about how we function. Careful what you wish for!

We (that's my Darling and I, plus currently 4 cats) live in a little urban bungalow built in 1926. It sits on a postage stamp lot near the city center. On our tiny parcel of Mother Earth, we manage to cram quite a bit of useful stuff. More on all of that as we go...

Life at our house requires you be on your toes, work hard, rest fully and laugh often! I wouldn't live ANY OTHER WAY! My Darling and I are perfectly suited to each other...similar interests, similar level of risk-taking, and we complement one another with a healthy dose of "Shape up, Kid" when necessary.

We are both in business for ourselves. I own a custom picture frame company and an online art gallery and my Darling is a brilliant and creative designer/builder/general contractor with a gift for finish carpentry. There are times when we are both so busy, we seldom see one another. But we try to manage our calendars so that we maximize our time together and at home...especially during harvest season. We'll get to that in a short few months!

I hope you are interested enough to either subscribe or check back from time to time. We certainly enjoy ourselves and that can always be contagious--good for a laugh or a thought, maybe RIGHT when you need it!